Guyana’s political landscape mirrors the American political scene

Dear Editor,

It’s always refreshing to witness America’s brighter side, which emerged in the US Senate’s confirmatory vote for US Supreme Court nominee Ms. Ketanji Brown Jackson. Ms. Jackson became the first black woman to rise to the top of the American legal system. Her trial by disgrace should not have taken place; she should have been spared the ordeal of dark ugliness that plagued the US Senate. It was refreshing – indeed inspiring – that Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney, three Republicans, were able to break party lines and stand up for decency first, integrity second, and what is right and proper under all circumstances. I was looking for decency and integrity, not Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley because they don’t have that. But I expected a little of both decency and integrity from Mitch McConnell, who I didn’t think would stoop so low as to allow bitter, dangerous politics to overwhelm him.

That a candidate of the quality of Ketanji Brown Jackson had to go through the wringer is an indication of the bottomless pit into which American politics has descended. Thank God for Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski and Mr. Romney. America once had more of them, but now it’s being dragged into the sewers by names like that of the last chief executive (so repulsive that he’s unworthy of the name, and he’s a former American president). Republicans have them, Democrats have them, and at the extreme ends representing America’s political poles there are tens of millions of the same wild, divisive mindsets. Politics is now war by other means. The prospects are bleak. For compromise and cooperation. Advancing for progress and a fractured society.

Unfortunately, in this harrowing context, I have no choice but to examine the mirror that is my other home, Guyana. It is as blatant and as tragically depraved as the American political scene. As in America, racism is pervasive and an expanding spiral of misery, baseness and monstrosity. As proof, venture a glimpse of the gorgon that is our Parliament and there is a risk of it being turned to stone. Women are abused, and the partisan mob is so thick with suffocating pus that even women are unmoved when a sister (a political opponent) is humiliated by her comrade. This citizen of a particularly outstanding kind is a legislator.

He’s one most Guyanese would shudder to have as a neighbor, even if he were listed on a public register. It would be the worst consolation. We also have a lawman who is so busy prioritizing and rationalizing what is right for the party that he has lost all sense of what his duty is to this country. Guyana has its own Cruz (es) and McConnell (s). We have a leader who every time he speaks puts on a complete spectacle that no one takes seriously. And he will eventually make Guyana great. We have men and women like Crux and Greene and Co. They are almost universal in their presence indeed.


GHK Lall

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